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Iowa fishing report 2-11-10

February 11, 2010 at 02:48 PM

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For current information, contact the district fisheries office at the phone number listed at the end of each district report.

NORTHWEST
Crawford Creek Impoundment
Some anglers report good catches of bluegill and crappie and other anglers report slow fishing.  Try to move around to find the fish and target areas with structure.  Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are catching hand-sized bluegills with orange or green glow in the dark teardrops with wax worms in 12 feet of water, fishing about 8 inches off the bottom from about 3 to 5:30 p.m.  Crappie - Fair: Anglers are picking up crappie with wax worms and minnows, some are nice size fish.  Crappie fishing at Crawford Creek has been best after dark.  Crappies are in the 8 to 10-inch range.

Badger Lake
The bluegill and crappie fishing has slowed some, but anglers are still catching a few nice sized fish.  Bluegill - Slow: Nice size bluegills are being caught with small jigs and wax worms.  Crappie - Slow: Nice size crappie are being caught as well.

Brushy Creek Lake
Fish are being caught but action is not real hot.  Some nice perch were caught last weekend.  Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill are being caught in 20 to 30 feet of water right off of the bottom.  Tear drops and wax worms have been working the best.  Crappie - Slow: A few crappies have been caught on minnows.  Yellow Perch - Slow: A few nice perch are being caught just off the bottom.  Walleye - Slow: Walleye have been slow, but try just at sunset for them.  Anglers have been picking a few up on minnows.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Walleye fishing is good on the lake.  Access to the lake has improved and a lot of anglers are out targeting those fish.  Try fishing the flats during the day in about 9 to 10 feet of water.  Fish around deeper areas or near dredge cuts in the morning and evenings, especially between the Big Island and Shorty’s Island.  Anglers are using jigging spoons tipped with a minnow head and/or minnows under bobbers.  Walleye - Good: Anglers have been using jigs tipped with minnow heads or minnows under a bobber.  Try to target areas away from the crowds of anglers.  A good number of walleye are being caught in the 12 to 13-inch size range, a few walleye bigger than 22 inches are being picked up.  Evening has been the most productive.

Black Hawk Lake
Anglers have been working the lake, but the fishing has been pretty slow.  Boat ramp area on Ice House Point and 30 Acres boat ramp has been plowed out.  Bluegill - Slow: Some bluegills are being caught with wax worms, but most are smaller size fish.  Crappie - Slow: Some crappies are being caught with wax worms and minnows, but most are smaller size fish.  Walleye - Slow: Some walleye, mostly less than 15 inches, are being caught near the old dredge cuts near Denison Beach in the evenings with super dupers and minnow heads.

Storm Lake is the hotspot in the Black Hawk District right now.  Walleye fishing has been good there for the past couple of weeks.  Always use caution on the ice. For more information about these lakes and rivers call Don Herrig 712-657-2638 at the Black Hawk District Office in Lake View.

Beeds Lake
Ice thickness 18 to 20 inches.  Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:

Eldred Sherwood Lake
Ice thickness 18 to 20 inches. Fishing been slow.  Bluegill - Slow:

Upper Pine Lake
Ice thickness 14 to 16 inches.

Lake Smith
Ice thickness 18 to 20 inches.  Bluegill - Slow:

Clear Lake
Ice thickness is 20 to 22 inches. Yellow bass are biting. Try fishing between Farmer Beach and Dodges Point at dusk.  Walleye - Slow:  Muskellunge - Slow:  Yellow Bass - Fair: 

Lake Cornelia
Ice thickness is 18 to 20 inches.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 16 to 20 inches.  Crappie - Slow:  Yellow Perch - Slow:

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 18 to 20 inches.  Yellow Perch - Slow:

Blue Pit
Ice thickness 18 to 20 inches. Trout are biting.  Rainbow Trout - Good:

Bluebill Lake
Ice thickness is 18 to 20 inches.  Bluegill - Slow:  Yellow Perch - Slow:

Fin and Feather Lake
Ice thickness 18 to 20 inches.  Bluegill - Slow:

Elm Lake
Ice thickness 18 to 20 inches.  Yellow Perch - Slow:

For more information on fishing in the area lakes and rivers, call the Clear Lake Fisheries Office at 641 357-3517.

Lake Pahoja
Bluegill - Fair: Use wax worms or wigglers along brush piles or the road bed.  Crappie - Fair: Use wax worms or wigglers along brush piles or the road bed.

Mill Creek (Lake)
If you want to take a child or the family fishing, Mill Creek Lake would be a great place to go and catch bluegills.  Fish within one foot of the bottom with a small ice jig tipped with a wax worm.  Bluegill - Good: Use small ice jigs tipped with a wax worm along weed beds and out from the dam.

Big Spirit Lake
People are driving onto the lake at the Marble Beach boat ramp.  Several slush pockets have showed up around Cottonwood and Jackson points and at Templar Park.  Bluegill - Slow: The bluegills have slowed down but some are still being caught at the Grade and on the north end of Angler’s Bay.  Crappie - Fair: Fish are being caught on the north end of Anglers Bay using pink ice jigs tipped with a wax worm.  A few crappies have also been caught at the grade.  Yellow Perch - Good: Use a small ice jig tipped with a wax worm or wiggler in 20 to 22 feet of water.  Fish are biting really light.  Walleye - Fair: Fish are being caught on rock bars using jigging lures or a slip bobber and minnow in the evenings.

East Okoboji Lake
Yellow Perch - Slow: A few fish are being caught in deep water on the south end of the lake with small jigs tipped with a wax worm or wiggler.  Walleye - Fair: Use jigging lures tipped with a minnow head on rock bars in the evening.  Yellow Bass - Fair: Fish at sunset on the south end of the lake in deeper water with small ice jigs tipped with live bait.

Minnewashta Lake
Bluegill - Slow:  Yellow Perch - Fair: Fish deeper with a small ice jig tipped with a wax worm or wiggler.  A few bluegills are also being caught.

West Okoboji Lake
Bluegill - Slow: Fish are widely scattered in the bays.  Yellow Perch - Good: Use jigging lures or small ice jigs tipped with wax worms or wigglers in 15 to 20 feet of water at North Bay.

Five Island Lake
Crappie - Fair: Use a jig tipped with a minnow head or wax worm in the morning and evenings for suspended fish.  Walleye - Fair: Fish at sunrise or sunset along drop-offs and flats with jigging lures tipped with a minnow.

Remember that walleye season on Big Spirit, East and West Okoboji lakes closes on February 14 at midnight (Monday at 12:01 a.m.).  For more information on the Spirit Lake area call 712-336-1840.

NORTHEAST
Volga Lake
Ice depths are in the 20-inch range.  Now is the time of year to try angling at varying depths.  Good oxygen levels down to 12 feet.    Bluegill - Slow:  Largemouth Bass - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:

Lake Hendricks
Ice depths were ranging from 20 to 24 inches.  Anglers are reporting the best time to fish continues to be in the early morning and evening.  Bluegill - Fair:  Crappie - Slow: Some sorting is necessary.  Yellow Perch - Fair:

Lake Meyer
If you don’t catch fish a few feet off the bottom try angling at mid depth or even one or two feet below the ice.  Also key your efforts around structure, such as brush or rock piles.  Ice depths are running 19 inches.  Bluegill - Fair: A lot of small bluegills are biting so some sorting is necessary.  Crappie - Slow:  Yellow Perch - Slow:

Cedar River (above Nashua)
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week. 

Decorah District Streams
Fishing for trout remains excellent.  It’s a bit more difficult to get to the streams with the recent snows we’ve had but once you get there, you’ll be pleased.  Try using a dark subsurface fly.  Midges have been hatching fairly often on bright sunny warmer days. 

Ice conditions remain good on area lakes.  Use caution when going out on area rivers and streams as many are opening up.  For more information, call the Decorah Trout Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Silver Lake (Delaware)
Silver Lake had been producing bluegill and crappie early on but has really slowed over the last few weeks.  Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow: Try fishing 8 to 10 feet of water near the center of the lake.

Schram Pond
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.

Brinker Lake
Anglers are taking bluegill and crappie but some sorting may be necessary. There have been reports of a few channel catfish taken as well

George Wyth Lake
Anglers have been fishing early morning and late evening with some success on both bluegill and crappie, some sorting may be necessary.  Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:

Martens Lake
Concentrate efforts on the west side of the marsh and look for where there has been heavy angling activity on the ice. Ice conditions have been anywhere from 14 to 18 inches thick.  Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Good: Cecils and Swedish pimples tipped with a wax worm have been the favorites for anglers targeting crappie.

Ice thickness around Black Hawk County is varying from 10 to 12 inches. Best success has been on Martens Lake (Sweet Marsh). Ice fishing has slowed considerably over the last few weeks. For more information contact the district office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER
Mississippi River Pool 9
Ice conditions are excellent.  Bluegill - Slow: Some bluegill being taken from the Village Creek boat ramp and above the marina in Lansing.  Fishing is slow and most anglers using teardrops and wax worms.  Crappie - Slow: Very few fish being angled but once in a while some large crappies are taken.  Anglers using wax worms and teardrops and some using prepared baits, such as gulp

Mississippi River Pool 10
Ice conditions are excellent.  Well over 12 inches of ice in most places.  Bluegill - Slow: A few bluegills are being reported below the spillway at Harpers Ferry but fishing is slow.  Crappie - Slow: Not many being reported but a few are being taken at the lower end of Norwegian Slough and Bussey Lake.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Ice conditions are excellent.  Solid 12 inches or more of ice on most backwater areas.  As always though use caution when crossing any slough with moving water.  White Bass - Fair: Some white bass are being reported in larger sloughs and deeper water side channels.  Bluegill - Slow: Reports of good catches are rare.  Most folks reporting scattered catches but some nice fish are reported from time to time.  Mostly using wax worms and teardrop type lures.  Crappie - Slow: Once in a while a nice Crappie is taken from the marina area on jig and wax worm.  Swift slough up by Guttenberg also has a few crappies taken at times but access is limited to an air boat.  Yellow Perch - Slow: The yellow perch bite can start later in the season and surveys show a strong yellow perch population in places like Mud Lake and Sunfish Lake.  Sauger - No Report: Tail water is really socked in with ice.  It is very difficult to push a boat into the Guttenberg Tail water.  Only a small pocket of open water is present.

Solid ice for fishing remains with most areas having 12 inches or more.  The boat ramps at Lynxville and the city ramp in Guttenberg are locked in ice. Call Guttenberg fisheries station for current conditions at 563 252-1156.

Mississippi River Pool 12
Backwater ice conditions are good with more than 1 foot at most lakes. Ice conditions in areas of flowing water will be less and travel on them is not recommended. River stage in Dubuque is 8.21 feet and falling.  Anglers in Pool 12 should keep an eye out for radio tagged crappie. The DNR has externally radio tagged 200 crappies in Pool 12 and will be tracking them over the course of the next year. Tags are attached to the dorsal spines and we ask that you release any tagged fish.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill fishing has been slow the past several weeks in the backwaters and anglers have to sort through a lot of small fish.  The bite has been very light with fish biting without moving spring bobbers.  Anglers in huts or with cameras that can see the fish bite have been doing better.  Crappie - Fair: Crappie fishing has improved the past week.  Reports of some being caught around the docks at Frentress Lake.  Sauger - Fair: A few anglers have been pulling boats off the ice from the Wisconsin side of the tail waters and catching a few saugers.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Backwater ice conditions are good with 12 inches or greater at most lakes. Ice conditions in areas of flowing water will be considerably less and travel on them is not recommended.  River stage in Bellevue is 6.19 feet and if forecast to fall to 5.40 feet over the next week. Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing in the backwaters has been slow and catches have consisted of a lot of small fish.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing in the backwaters has been slow.

Mississippi River Pool 14
Backwater ice conditions are good with 12 inches or greater at most lakes. Ice conditions in areas of flowing water will be considerably less and travel on them is not recommended. River stage in Camanche is 9.73 feet.  Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing has been slow and anglers have had to sort a lot of small fish.  Crappie - Fair: Reports of crappie coming out of Rock Creek.

For fishing information in Pool 12 to 15 of the Mississippi River contact the Bellevue Fish Management and Research Station at 563-872-4976

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tail water stage is 6.08 feet. Anglers have been able to launch boats at the Marquette St. ramp in Davenport. There is some ice floating in the main channel so take caution when boating. Ice fishing has been slow in Sunset Marina.  Bluegill - Slow: Ice fishing in Sunset Marina for bluegills has been slow.  Largemouth Bass - No Report:  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing in Sunset Marina has been slow.  Sauger - Slow: Sauger fishing at the dam and in Sylvan Slough has been slow.  Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing in the tail waters has been slow.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tail water stage is 4.83 feet. As of Feb. 11, there was some loose ice chunks floating at the upper ramp in Muscatine. Anglers may have to bust through some ice to launch boats. One lane has been plowed open but there is still some snow that could make the ramp slippery. There is also some ice build-up on the lower end of the ramp that could make pulling a trailer in and out difficult. Check ramp conditions before launching a boat. The lower ramp was not plowed open and was frozen in.  Bluegill - Slow: Fishing has been slow in Big Timber. Big Timber has variable ice thicknesses of 4 to 6in.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing in Big Timber has been slow.  Sauger - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tail water stage is 6.45 feet. There are reports that the Toolesboro Access is open. With cold weather and snow in the forecast ramp conditions could change. Most ice fishing reports are coming from area lakes and ponds.  Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:  Sauger - Slow: A few saugers are being caught at the dam on jigs and minnows.  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tail water stage is 5.05 feet. No fishing information was received for Pool 19 this week.  Bluegill - No Report:  Crappie - No Report:  Sauger - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pools 16 to 20: Anglers have been able to launch boats to access the tail waters throughout pools 16 to 18. Boat ramp conditions could change with snow and cold temperatures in the forecast. There is some ice coming down the main channel so take caution when boating. Ice fishing in the backwaters has been slow. Most ice fishing reports are coming from area lakes and ponds. For more information on fishing Pools 16 to 20 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST
Lake Geode
Ice conditions have improved. Not much angler activity going on.  Bluegill - Slow: Try around the piles of fish habitat in the area around the main boat ramp.

Lake Belva Deer
Bluegill - Slow: Fishing is slowing down as the mid-winter doldrums are setting in.

Pollmiller Park Lake
Ice conditions have returned to safe conditions.  8 to 12 inches of ice over most of the lake.  Bluegill - Fair: The older Christmas tree piles and last year’s cedar tree piles have been producing most of the fish. 

Lake of the Hills
Ice fishing remains slow going.  Bluegill - Slow: Anglers are picking up a few small bluegills.  Crappie - Slow: Just a few small crappies are being caught.

For more information on the above lakes call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319 694-2430

Iowa Lake
Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:

Kent Park Lake
Bluegill - Slow:

Lake Macbride
The most productive time seems to be at sunrise.  Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:

Central Park Lake
Bluegill - Slow:

Pleasant Creek Lake
Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:

Diamond Lake
Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Fair: Most fish are small (7 inches)

Otter Creek Lake
Bluegill - Slow:  Yellow Bass - Fair:

Union Grove Lake
Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:

For more information call the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319 624-3615.

Lake Wapello
The lake was drained in the summer of 2009 but is now full.

Red Haw Lake
Use caution if venturing out onto the ice.  Bluegill - Fair: Use tear drop jigs tipped with a wax worm.  Try areas around submerged cedar trees.  Some fish have been up to 9 inches in length.

Lake Keomah
The ice is variable in thickness so use caution if heading out.  The latest measurements have about 7 inches out in from out the fishing pier and over by the dam.  Very few anglers have been fishing.  Bluegill - Slow: Use small jigs tipped with a wax worm.  Try fishing a foot or two off the bottom.  Largemouth Bass - Slow: A few largemouth bass are being caught by bluegill anglers using small jigs tipped with a wax worm.

Lake Miami
Use caution if venturing out onto the ice.  Very few anglers have been out so far this winter.  Remember the lake has been drawn down all year.  Find areas with structure and try small jigs tipped with wax worms.

Lake Sugema
Use caution if venturing out.  Bluegill - Fair: Use tear drop jigs tipped with a wax worm.  Crappie - Slow: Use wax worms or minnows on small jigs.  Try fishing within a foot or two of the lake bottom.

Rathbun Reservoir
Use caution if venturing out because the ice thickness varies from place to place.  The last measurements taken have about 12 to 14 inches in spots including Atwell’s, Glenwood and the Dedication Site boat ramp. Crappie - Slow: Try using small jigs tipped with either a minnow or wax worms.  Find areas with submerged structure for the best results.  The Buck Creek area and Atwell’s has been producing some crappies.

For additional fishing information in south central Iowa call the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406.


SOUTHWEST
Beaver Lake
Bluegill - Good: Beaver Lake is producing some decent bluegills through the ice this year.  The larger ones being caught are 8 to 9 inches.  Anglers are having success in 15 to 20 foot of water out from the dam and on the 9 to 15 foot ridge that runs south of the 40 foot hole across the lake from the boat ramp.  Fish are being caught using wax worms and spikes.  Crappie - Fair: With the bluegills, anglers are picking up a few decent crappies up to 11 inches.

Big Creek Lake
Bluegill - Fair: The bluegill bite is light, but some good bluegills from 7 to 9 inches are being caught mostly late in the afternoon.  They are being caught off sunken brush piles in the main lake and in front of the deeper coves. Depths around 20 feet or greater have been best. Both wax worms and spikes have been working.  Crappie - Fair: Crappie are being caught near the roadbed in 30 to 40 foot of water off the East road bed out from the Ensign shelter and into the handicap pier bay.  Wax worms on glow jigs have been working best, but live minnows are also catching a few fish.  The bite is best from 5:30 to 10 p.m.  Not many crappies are being picked up during daylight hours.   

Hickory Grove Lake
Bluegill - Slow: The bluegill bite is slow, but some fish are still being caught late in the afternoon and especially just before and after sunset near sunken habitat.  This habitat can be found in most of the coves and in deeper water out from the points.  It is taking some jumping from hole to hole to find active fish.  The bluegills are good sized around 8 inches and are being caught using both wax worms and spikes.  Crappie - Slow: A few crappies are being pulled off the same sunken habitat as the bluegills.  Better crappies are being caught suspended in the deeper water in the evenings.  Some crappies are 10 to 11 inches.

Lake Ahquabi
Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are catching some good bluegills on the sunken brush piles.  For a map with GPS locations for the brush piles and rock piles email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  Ahquabi can produce some large bluegills over 9 inches.  Crappie - Fair: Anglers fishing over the brush piles are also picking up a few crappies.  Some have been up to 12 inches.

Red Rock Reservoir
Anglers below the Red Rock spillway are having success snagging large Buffalo and Bighead carp.

Lake Petoka
Rainbow Trout - Good: 1,700 rainbow trout were stocked January 16 and good numbers of fish should still be present.  Some anglers are still catching their limit.  Several large brood fish were also stocked.  The fish are biting on small jigs and spoons tipped with one or several wax worms.  Small live minnows also work well.  The water is clear enough to sight fish.

Banner Lake (south)
Rainbow Trout - Good: 1,500 Rainbow trout were stocked through the ice on January 14.  Good numbers of fish still remain to be caught.  Bluegill - Fair: There has been reports of a few anglers catching some large bluegills up to 9 inches.

As of February 10 most central Iowa lakes are holding 15 inches plus of ice.  Fishing has slowed over the last week.  Most fish are being caught early in the mornings and especially in the afternoon and evenings.  Contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515 432-2823 for information on the above area lakes and rivers.

Greenfield Lake
Greenfield lake has a consistent 14 inches of ice. Greenfield is a popular ice fishing lake because of the quality panfish fishery.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills up to 9 inches are being caught in 14 to 16 feet of water. Sorting is necessary.

Nodaway Lake
Late afternoon and after dark has been best for 8 to 9 inch crappies. Bluegills up to 8 inches are being caught over deep cedar tree piles. Nodaway has 14 inches of ice.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills up to 8 inches are being caught using wax worms. Fish deep cedar tree piles with wax worms.  Crappie - Slow: A few crappies are being caught using minnows. The bite picks up around 4:30 p.m.

Lake Anita
The best fishing at Anita has been in deeper water. Also, it has been a late bite, usually starting around 4:30 or 5 p.m. Anita has 12 to 14 inches of ice.  Bluegill - Fair: The best bluegill bite has been consistently between late in the afternoon. Anglers are catching many fish exceeding 8 inches using wax worms.  Crappie - Fair: The best success has been fishing with minnows in the evening. Late afternoon to after dark is best. Crappies are running 9 to 10 inches.

Lake Manawa
Manawa has 14 inches of ice.  Crappie - Slow: Crappies are slow but anglers are still catching a few. Using a jig with small spinner and tipped with a live minnow is working best.

Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Farm ponds offer excellent opportunity for quality ice fishing in southern Iowa. Remember to always ask permission before fishing a private pond.  Bluegill - Slow: Typically bluegills can be found in the deepest part of the pond. Tip small jigs with wax worms and start fishing a foot off the bottom.  Crappie - Slow: Fish the larger farm ponds using wax worms or minnows. Fish different depths in the water column as crappie can be suspended.

Late afternoon has been the best time to fish in most reports. Anglers can expect to find 14 to 18 inches of ice on most lakes in the southwest district. For more information contact Bryan Hayes or Mark Boucher at the Cold Springs District Office 712-769-2587.

Fogle Lake S.W.A.
Ice is more than 10 inches thick.  Bluegill - Fair: Several mid-sized fish are being caught from the brush pile just north of the center of the dam.  Crappie - Fair: Several real nice fish are being caught using minnows suspended near the brush pile just north of the center of the dam.

Green Valley Lake
The lake level has been lowered 12 feet to allow for sediment removal from the silt dike areas.  The project is expected to take until at least early May.

Summit Lake
The fishery was renovated in December.  The lake level has been lowered to allow shoreline a stabilization project to be completed.  Refilling and restocking is expected in the spring.

Three Mile Lake
Ice is more than 10 inches thick.  Anglers are fishing the pump house cove and the upper end.  Bluegill - Fair: Several fish are being caught from the flooded trees along the creek channel at the upper end or the pump house cove.  Crappie - Fair: Several fish are coming from the flooded trees in the pump house cove.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Fishing is very good.  Panfish are being caught along the channel and ice is 10 inches thick.  Bluegill - Good: Several nice fish have been caught from the flooded trees next to the creek channel.  Crappie - Good: Reports of crappie from 10 to 12 inches indicating a lot of fish being caught from the flooded trees along the west shore.

Ice thickness is averaging 8 inches.  Runoff has put some color in the water of some lakes.  Fish are usually in the deeper channels next to trees.  Reports of suspended fish have been increasing.  Farm ponds are very good.

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